/ Motoring

Complain for change: ever appealed a parking ticket?

We all dread those notices on the car windscreen that scream ‘you’ve got a parking ticket’. However, Which? research, along with my own experiences, suggests that it’s worth appealing…

‘Aaarrgghhhh,’ is usually my immediate response, followed by the resigned acceptance of: ‘that’s 60 quid down the drain’. But it doesn’t always have to be this way. In fact, our research has found that two thirds of people who appeal a parking ticket win their case.

I’ve got two such examples. The first was when a friend came to visit and I gave her a visitor permit to place on her dashboard. When she returned to her car the next morning, the permit had fallen to the floor and a shiny new parking ticket was secured to her windscreen instead.

She was furious, so we took photos of where the permit had landed in her car and she sent these to my local authority. Her appeal was upheld and they waived the fine. Before I move on to my second example, you may want to watch our video on how to contest a parking ticket:

Parking attendants – waiting to pounce?

The second example is a little more convoluted. I had purchased a new car and was waiting for my local authority to reissue me with a parking permit containing the new car details. In the meantime I had to use visitor permits to avoid being issued a ticket – despite already having paid for a yearly permit (but that’s another story).

One evening I forgot to put a permit on my dashboard but remembered first thing the next morning. To my utter dismay I had received a parking ticket despite getting to my car at 8.05am – parking restrictions start at 8am.

Now, I’m sure parking attendants are all very nice people, but I’m afraid that my first thought was that an attendant must have hung around my car waiting to pounce at 8am.

I immediately appealed against the ticket giving clear reasons for my appeal. I was successful and delighted that I didn’t have to pay the fine. So, I’m now firmly of the opinion that it’s definitely worth appealing. But I’m not sure everyone does – have you ever contested a parking ticket? Were you successful?


I took my son swimming and parked at the local leisure centre. I obtained a ticket from the parking machine but when placing the ticket on the dashboard the wind must have blown the ticket over, so date and time was not visible. I returned to my vehicle with a parking fine. I contested it with the parking attendant and presented my valid ticket which was still within the time. He said he was unable to revoke his decision and said I would have to speak to the council.

18 November 2015

Hi everyone,

I parked my car on disabled parking and went to my shop to pick up few things and when i came back

ticket person was writing ticket i told him that i am leaving he gave putted ticket on my windscreen and

took a photograph . i took hardly 10 secs and in next 10 seconds i was issued ticket and on ticket

observed time is 13:19 to 13:19 . Can i challenge this parking ticket ? If yes, please advise what

i should i write them so .. Please help me

Hi there,

I parked my car on disabled parking and went to my shop to pick up few things and when i came back

ticket person was writing ticket i told him that i am leaving he gave putted ticket on my windscreen and

took a photograph . i took hardly 10 secs and in next 10 seconds i was issued ticket and on ticket

observed time is 13:19 to 13:19 . Can i challenge this parking ticket ? If yes, please advise what

i should i write them so .. Please help me

Were you entitled to park on a disabled space and forgot your blue badge? If not, you took a space that is designed to make a disabled person’s problems easier – a bigger space to open doors fully, room to get a wheelchair to the door, nearer the shops. A penalty is then quite justified in the hope you will not deprive someone in need in future.

Otherwise if you forgotten to display a blue badge the parking attendant could not know you were disabled. You could try an appeal.

All car parks – certainly council ones – should allow say 10 minutes of free parking for someone who just nips to the shops to get a paper or a bottle of milk say; many in our area do. You would still need to collect a free ticket to show how long you had been there when an attendant checks.

Hi. I was called back into work to see a client last year and parked in our parking space that we have permits for in the car park behind the building. There is usually an area I would park in by the building but one of our private ambulances was already there (I work for a funeral directors) I parked the car and went into the branch. I didn’t display the permit I admit because I honestly thought that as the permits are in my name under the business that on the off chance (on a dark, cold and rainy night) a warden was around I could provide copies of these and all would be okay. It seems not! I appealed the fine showing evidence that I hold a permit for the space. In addition I didn’t want to park miles away because I was pregnant at the time with a high risk pregnancy and when there is a space outside it seemed the better option then walking in the dark and rain. I provided a copy of my medical records showing this. Please bear in mind I was seeing to a bereaved family not just popping in the corner shop for a pint of milk. My appeal was rejected, I appealed again showing record of stress effecting my pregnancy, to which this was not helping. Still the appeal was rejected. I left it there as didn’t feel up to dealing with it. I have not paid as I have the whole thing sickening. I have recieved a letter from a debt collector who says if it is not paid they will advise the company to take it to court. If they take it to court surely I have a good case? I feel these people are money grabbers with no consideration at all. It’s a council car park but the fine is from a private parking firm. The council have already said although they sympathise it is out of their hands and with the parking firm.

Gordon says:
25 January 2017

If u don’t have your driving license with u have so many days to take to your police station y does this not apply to a blue it would save a lot of time and worry for disable users it taken me loads of phone calls and I still have to do it in writing as I can’t write very good anymore I will have to get someone else to do it I could not put my disabled card on winscreen because I have not receive it yet I do understand I could have put a piece of paper in window but not always possible

Dino says:
21 July 2017

I was double parked for approx 4 mins whilst I dropped something off. Can I appeal it and would I be sucessfull

I just got a parking ticket for parking an additional two hours in a parking area in Greenwich. The Greenwich parking is operated by DASH and when my session expired I paid for another two hours and it accepted my payment which misled me to believe that I was ok parking another two hours. I have proof of the confirmed payment and confirmed parking for the additional 2nd hour and I still got a ticket. Can I appeal? Thanks

Liza – If the pay-&-display parking area you used was on the public highway it would probably have a sign saying something like “Maximum permitted time 2 hours. No return for one hour.” This is to ensure the turnover of parking spaces. Can you recall what any signs said about the permitted parking time? How was the Penalty Charge Notice issued – presumably not by an enforcement officer at the location, so did you have to enter the registration number in the pay-&-display ticket machine so that a PCN could be issued by post following a DVLA check? If signs weren’t clear or were missing then it is worth challenging the PCN as explained. This is not an appeal but means you get an explanation for the PCN so you can decide whether it is worth making a formal appeal, and the PCN could even be cancelled at that stage if the authority accepts your challenge. If you get your challenge in quickly the penalty will be held at the lower rate for early payment. If you go all the way to appeal and lose you will have to pay at the full rate but if you win the PCN will be cancelled.

If the parking place was not on the public highway it will all depend on the presence of clear instruction notices in the parking area. In an enclosed or defined off-street parking area on private land enforcement is often carried out remotely by CCTV with the parking charge notice issued by post.

It would be helpful if you could give more details of the situation.

NO parking problems when you travel by public transport ! Give it a try ! NO hassle when driving either someone does it for you The distance you might have to walk does you no harm in fact it will do many drivers good to walk I am sure many have forgotten that they once learned to walk

Hi. I have been issued with a private car parking penalty notice while I going to get a ticket. The ticket says the car was observed between 10:35:03 to 10:36:13. Surely this is unreasonable? Unfortunately I no longer have the ticket as I didn’t think I had done anything wrong so threw it away. Do you think an appeal would work?

leslie colston says:
24 November 2019

this morning I had a ticket on my car I have a disable badge but must have knocked clock off as I was getting out. what I can’t understand is you don’t see a warden when there is a football match on a Saturday in the council grounds down from me and cars parked all the way down the street without a badge
and don’t get booked

When you leave your car it is important to check that your parking ticket, permit, blue badge or clock are clearly visible. Not displaying them contravenes terms and could be used to cheat. I’m not suggesting you did, just looking at it from the operator’s point of view. It is not a grounds for appeal in my view but could be used to request a “goodwill” response.